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Good Morning Nanty Glo!
               Friday, July 5 2002 

Biased—and bogus—reporting

Following on yesterday's thoughts about headlines, I yesterday saw a story that serves as a new conversation starter. The story begins with this lead: "On a day when President Bush promoted his faith-based initiative plan, and less than a week after a federal court issued a ruling against the pledge of allegiance for its reference to God, the vice president's wife was striking a different cord [I think the writer meant "chord"—webmaster]. 'I sometimes think that the little engine that has made us such a wonder of achievement across so many fields of human endeavor is the separation of church and state,' said Lynne Cheney, author, American Enterprise Institute scholar, former National Endowment for the Humanities chairman, and vice presidential spouse."

If there was any substance to the suggestion that Mrs. Cheney and President Bush have divergent views on the issues of separation of church and state, this would be a big news story meriting the high play it got on some of the Internet news portals yesterday. However, read on, and you find not a scintilla of evidence that there's a divergence of political opinions, unless you assume (as the writer of that story probably does) that you believe President Bush doesn't believe in separation of church and state. Anyone who has given it even a cursory thought knows the current President of the United States holds no such disbelief in this American fundamental.

I, for example, agree totally with everything Lynn Cheyney is quoted as saying in this article. The separation of spheres of life representing social governance on one hand and the spiritual community on the other, is a bulwark and a genius of our democratic republic. Never should any religious establishment call the shots on the government, nor should any government entity interfere with religious institutions' pursuit of lawful ministries. At the same time, I'm in total agreement with President Bush's call for tax support for charitable works like drug rehabilitation, homeless outreach, halfway houses, literacy programs, and others, without regard to whether the institutions are connected with churches, synogogues, Mosques, Buddhist temples, or other religious affiliations.

In fact, I think it would be a violation of American fundamental principle (not to mention the worst kind of "McCarthyism") to consider the outreach programs' philosophical orientations or roots in making eligibility determinations regarding government grants. Likewise, any program that educates children, whether it's in a church basement or a "cathedral of learning," if it's turning out college-eligible and employable graduates, is worthy of taxpayers' support...every child deserves the same consideration when the school budgets are allotted, regardless of their race, or, what has been made controversial by myopic knee-jerk leftists, creed.

Back to yesterday's "story" about Lynne Cheyney's so-called divergence of opionion with the President, the first scenario would be newsworthy if the story showed a divergence exists. Another approach would have been to show that, despite what many of the media have been portraying about the President's policy on government support of charities without requiring religious tests, the administration still is firmly in support of America's traditional belief in separation of church and state. There's your story.

—Webmaster Jon Kennedy

Dumb crooks

— Sent by Bob Kennedy

Thought for today

The holiest bread, if hoarded, soon will breed the mammon-moth.

George MacDonald

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